Turkey bans all LGBT events in Ankara

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Several LGBTI organisations in Turkey have already called the ban unconstitutional and illegal and the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights said today that "such a blanket ban clearly disregards Turkey's global human rights obligations, notably under the European Convention on Human Rights". Such an approach aimed at the maintaining public order, the Ankara administration believes.

Authorities in Ankara had already banned a German gay film festival on Wednesday, the day before it was due to start, citing public safety and terrorism risks.

LGBT rights organizations would launch a legal process against the Ankara Governor's Office's decision to ban all LGBT events in the Turkish capital.

According to the officials, the LGBTI events are likely to "provoke reactions within certain segments" of society, so, maintaining the order became harder.

But organisers of Thursday's film festival wanted authorities to instead offer greater protection, denouncing the move as a violation of their constitutional rights.

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As a result, the ban fuels concern among LGBTI activists in Turkey that their right to freedom of expression is being curtailed under the Islamic-rooted government of President Erdogan.

Being homosexual in Turkey is not illegal and the country has several registered LGBT organisations, however campaigners claim there is still widespread discrimination against the LGBT community.

However, LGBTI individuals in the country frequently complain of mistreatment including harassment, abuse and rape as well as animosity.

Despite a ban on gay pride parades in Istanbul, Turkey, LGBTQ activists and allies marched and celebrated in June, which is unofficially recognized as LGBTQ Pride Month. The LGBTI community are an integral part of society in Ankara and deserve to be protected by the local authorities.

Earlier in November, Erdogan was outraged at the existence of a quota for gay people on a neighbourhood committee, saying it was at odds with the nation's values.

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